The Australian National Insect Collection is recognised both nationally and internationally as a major research collection. It is the world's largest collection of Australian insects and related groups such as mites, spiders, nematodes and centipedes, housing over 12 million specimens.
The Australian National Insect Collection is used by the Australian and international researchers, industry, government and university students. It is growing by more than 100,000 specimens each year.
The Australian National Insect Collection helps us identify insects and biosecurity pests that are intercepted at Australia’s borders.
The Australian National Insect Collection researches a number of major bio-diverse and economically important groups of insects and related organisms.
Coleoptera is the group classification given to insects collectively known as beetles and are one of the largest orders of living organisms on the planet. Our research examines their economic and environmental importance.
Our research into flies or Diptera is helping scientists better understand the evolution and ecology of this group of insects.
Research on mites or Acarina is increasing our knowledge of their diversity, biology and behaviour. Mites are not insects, but arachnids, a group that also includes spiders, scorpions and harvestmen, and a few other groups of small invertebrates.
Moths and Butterflies
Lepidoptera, otherwise known as moths or butterflies, is one of the most diverse insect orders and probably one of the best-loved insect groups.
Roundworms or nematodes are the most abundant and ubiquitous multicellular organisms on earth. Between 100,000 and 1,000,000 are believed to exist. Only a small percentage of Australia's species are currently known, with 1000 having been named.
Our research on spiders or Aranaea is increasing our knowledge of their diversity, distribution and complexity.
Our research on Thrips or Thysanoptera, aims to better understand their biological diversity and economic importance in Australia and its relationship to the fauna in other parts of the world.
DNA unlocks insects identity and evolution
Molecular Systematics provides new tools and techniques for understanding the identity and evolution of insects and their relatives.
The Australian National Insect Collection has a mix of staff with specialist skills ranging from collection maintenance and development through to research.
Collection resources for researchers and visitors
The Australian National Insect Collection has a range of collection-based resources for researchers and visitors to use. It includes information about loans, protocols, and policies as well as access to information about our holdings.
Accessing our data
ANIC is an important research collection used by CSIRO researchers, university staff and students, and scientists from Australian and international research organisations.
Researchers can come to visit or borrow material from our facility. Only researchers who are associated with a CITES-registered institution can borrow material for research purposes.
ANIC primary types
ANIC supplies an Excel spreadsheet of its primary types to facilitate systematic research
Permit requirements for collecting insects in Australia
Each region in Australia manages their own permits and the conditions vary from state to state.
Destructive sampling: insect collection
Destructive or invasive sampling of specimens for research purposes generally involves irreversible changes (including complete destruction) to the samples.
ANIC historical archives
These ANIC archives provide an index to all documentary material directly associated with ANIC and its history. (An archived document included on this page may not be accessible to assistive technologies.)
Insect identification resources online
The Australian National Insect Collection provides web-based information and tools for the identification of insects and related organisms.
Anatomical Atlas of Drosophila melanogaster
This interactive morphology clarifies structures found in this particular group of flies. It is designed to provide a bridge between communities who study the taxonomy and systematics of the group, and those who study the genetics and development of this model organism and its close relatives.
Anatomical Atlas of Flies
The Anatomical Atlas of Flies is an interactive and comparative morphology for the insect order Diptera. It compares the morphology of the four major groups: the Calyptrate, the Acalyptrate, the Lower Brachycera and the Lower Diptera.
Research into the Australian Longhorns, the Cerambycidae, is being partly funded by ABRS in a collaborative venture with CSIRO. The study of the Lamiinae, one of the three major subfamilies, has resulted in a book and companion website. As well a providing information the website also provides a lucid identification key that takes the Lamiinae subfamily to genus level. There are current plans to produce a book on the Cerambycinae and a book on the Prioninae and expand the website to reflect this.
Australian Moths Online
Australian Moths Online is now available on the Atlas of Living Australia, providing reliably identified images of selected Australian moths.
Centipedes of Australia
Research into the Centipedes of Australia was partly funded by ABRS in a in a collaborative venture with CSIRO. It resulted in a centipede checklist and a website providing an interactive dichotomous key to aid with centipede identification.
Checklist of the World Thysanoptera
This world list includes about 7700 species-group and over 1200 genus-group names, together with their authors and dates of publication.
Ladybirds of Australia
Research into the Australian Ladybirds, the Coccinellidae, partly funded by ABRS in a collaborative venture with CSIRO resulted in a book and companion website. As well a providing information the website also provides a lucid identification key that takes the Ladybird family to genus level.
Some of the results of our research into the Nematodes can be accessed from this link. You will find Identification keys, checklists and general information.
An online catalogue of all described species of Australian Thrips. View details and photos on the species in genera of thrips known in Australia in the sub-order Terebrantia, representing five families and four subfamilies. The second sub-order, the Tubulifera, includes a single family, the Phlaeothripidae, with more than 500 genera recorded from Australia, and many species not yet described.
What Bug Is That?
Provides a dichotomous key to aid in the identification of the insect orders. Where the information is available further identification using Lucid keys is provided down to family, genus and species levels.